GenealogyBank adds more 20th Century Newspapers

GenealogyBank expands it’s coverage adding more 20th Century newspapers.

We are pleased to announce even stronger 20th Century resources with the addition of these important newspapers from all parts of the United States.

Georgia, Augusta
Augusta Chronicle. Over 33 million articles. from 1793 to 1997
We just added 10, 835 issues from 1/1/1950 to 12/31/1981 Click here and start searching this newspaper.

Louisiana, New Orleans
Times Picayune. Over 16 million articles from 1837 to 1942
We just added 4,229 issues from 1/2/1923 to 12/6/1942
Click here and start searching this newspaper

New Jersey, Trenton
Trenton Evening Times . Over 17.8 million articles from 1883 to 1972
We just added 9,596 issues from 1/1/1950 to 12/29/1972
Click here and start searching this newspaper

Ohio, Cleveland
Plain-Dealer. Over 28.6 million articles from 1845 to 1955
We just added 2,720 issues from 1/1/1950 to 11/30/1967
Click here and start searching this newspaper

Texas, Dallas
Dallas Morning News. Over 10.5 million articles from 1885 to 1978
We just added 10,593 issues from 1/1/1950 to 9/15/1978
Click here and start searching this newspaper

Washington, Seattle
Seattle Daily Times. Over 6.3 million articles from 1923 to 1939
We just add 4,738 issues from 1/1/1923 to 11/30/1938
Click here and start searching this newspaper
.

GenealogyBank adds 17 newspapers from 10 States

GenealogyBank adds 17 newspapers from 10 States.

Arizona, Glendale. Glendale Star. Weekly. 12/13/2002 – Current
Arizona, Glendale. Peoria Times. Weekly. 01/17/2003 – Current

Georgia, Atlanta. Atlanta Jewish Times. Weekly. 01/11/2008 – Current

Indiana, Goshen. Goshen News. Daily. 11/10/2007 – Current
Indiana, Lebanon. Reporter. Daily. 06/25/2008 – Current
Indiana, Shelbyville. Shelbyville News. Daily. 06/02/2009 – Current

Kansas, Derby. Derby Reporter. Daily. 09/06/2000 – 12/30/2008
Kansas, Pratt. Pratt Tribune. Daily. 07/28/1999 – Current
Kansas, Wellington. Wellington Daily News. Daily. 04/04/2001 – Current

Kentucky, Somerset. Commonwealth-Journal. Daily. 08/12/2008 – Current
Kentucky, Taylorsville. Spencer Magnet. Weekly. 11/12/2008 – Current

Louisiana, Sulphur. Southwest Daily News. Daily. 03/26/2003 – Current

Maryland, Elkton. Cecil Whig. Daily. 01/06/2005 – Current

Massachusetts, Haverhill. Haverhill Gazette. Weekly. 01/10/2008 – Current
Massachusetts, Norwood. Norwood Bulletin. Weekly. 05/17/2007 – Current

Oklahoma, Norman. Norman Transcript. Daily. 06/06/2008 – Current

Washington, Aberdeen. Daily World. Daily. 01/20/2005 – Current

More Newspapers Go Online – 41 newspapers, 23 states

GenealogyBank adds and expands 41 newspapers from 23 states.

21 new titles.

That’s nearly 14 million articles contained in 8,052 issues!

Click and search them right now!!
Connecticut. Middletown. American Sentinel. 326 issues. 1823-01-01 to 1833-04-24
Connecticut. Middletown.
Constitution. 47 issues. 1854-12-13 to 1855-12-05
Connecticut. New London.
New London Gazette. 160 issues. 1838-01-03 to 1843-03-22
Connecticut. Nor wich.
True Republican. 49 issues. 1804-06-20 to 1806-10-01

Washington, DC. Daily National Intelligencer. 3,230 issues. 1842-07-01 to 1866-06-25

Florida. Gainesville. *Gainesville Sun. 1995-01-18 to Present

Illinois. Chicago. Chicago Metro News. 118 issues. 1974-07-06 to 1990-10-06
Illinois. Freeport. *
Journal Standard. 2002-12-14 to Present

Indiana. Crawfordsville. *Paper of Montgomery County. 2004-11-26 to Present
Indiana. Noblesville. *
Times. 2008-10-22 to Present

Kentucky. Paris. *Western Citizen. 45 issues. 1808-12-24 to 1814-12-31

Louisiana. New Orleans. Orleans Gazette. 1 issue. 1817-09-27
Louisiana. New Orleans.
Times-Picayune. 30 issues. 1872-09-26 to 1900-11-15

Maine. Kennebunk. *Annals of the Times. 68 issues. 1803-01-13 to 1805-01-03
Maine. Portland. *Independent Statesman. 167 issues. 1821-07-14 to 1825-05-06

Massachusetts. Boston. *American Traveller. 19 issues. 1825-07-26 to 1836-03-25
Massachusetts. Gloucester. *
Gloucester Democrat. 362 issues. 1834-08-19 to 1838-02-16
Massachusetts. Springfield.
Federal Spy. 133 issues. 1800-01-07 to 1805-12-31
Massachusetts. Springfield. *
Hampden Whig. 2 issues. 1831-05-11 to 1836-06-08

Maryland. Baltimore. *Baltimore Bulletin. 93 issues. 1872-04-20 to 1876-09-23

Michigan. Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids Press. 330 issues. 1893-01-19 to 1920-10-25

Mississippi. Columbia. *Columbian Progress. 2008-11-03 to Present

Montana. Great Falls. Montana Herold. 1 issue. 1896-09-03

New Hampshire. Concord. New Hampshire Patriot. 2 issues. 1881-02-24 to 1884-01-10

New Jersey. Trenton. Trenton State Gazette. 293 issues. 1847-01-12 to 1847-12-31

New York. Albany. Albany Evening Journal. 83 issues. 1850-09-19 to 1874-06-10
New York. Catskill. *
Catskill Recorder. 143 issues. 1807-04-07 to 1833-04-18
New York. Goshen. *Goshen Repository. 37 issues. 1797-03-21 to 1798-12-25
New York. New York.
Hodge’s Banknote Reporter. 4 issues. 1861-06-01 to 1861-06-22
New York. New York.
New York Herald. 1,121 issues. 1864-01-28 to 1871-11-04; 1874-10-04 to 1888-01-05
New York. New York.
New York Herald-Tribune. 962 issues. 1856-10-30 to 1879-03-27
New York. Poughkeepsie. *
Country Journal. 136 issues. 1785-12-15 to 1789-07-07

North Carolina. Forest City. *Daily Courier. 2005-01-01 to Present

Ohio. Cincinnati. *Advertiser and Journal. 9 issues. 1819-01-26 to 1827-09-26
Ohio. Cincinnati. *
Cincinnati Daily Gazette. 722 issues. 1835-01-01 to 1845-06-25
Ohio. Warren. *Trump of Fame. 15 issues. 1812-11-05 to 1814-07-27

Rhode Island. Pawtucket. *Valley Breeze. 2009-08-19 to Present

South Carolina. Charleston. City Gazette. 206 issues. 1824-01-01 to 1824-08-31

Texas. Beaumont. Beaumont Enterprise & Journal. 14 issues. 1906-05-30 to 1911-09-01

Utah. Salt Lake City. Salt Lake Tribune. 1 issue. 1881-06-11

Vermont. Newport. *Newport Daily Express. 2008-07-24 to Present
.

Newspapers from 23 states go online!

GenealogyBank added and expanded 32 newspapers from 23 states.
16 new titles.

Click and search them right now.

California
Benecia.
California Gazette*. 1 issue. 1851-07-12

Colorado
Denver. Denver Mirror* 33 issues. 1874-06-28 to 1875-05-30

Connecticut
Bristol.
Bristol Press*. 2007-12-28 to Present
Manchester.
Journal Inquirer*. 2004-03-08 to Present
Middletown.
Constitution. 20 issues. 1856-12-31 to 1857-12-02
New London.
New London Daily Star. 120 issues. 1837-01-05 to 1858-09-02

DC
Washington.
Reconstructionist* 2 issues. 1866-02-10 to 1866-03-24

Idaho
Blackfoot.
Morning News*. 2008-08-02 to Present

Illinois
Chicago.
Chicago Times. 77 issues. 1855-01-16 to 1856-07-03

Indiana
Terre Haute.
Wabash Courier. 18 issues. 1840-10-31 to 1841-12-25

Kansas
Kansas City.
Kansas City Kansan*. 2008-08–12 to Current

Louisiana
New Orleans.
New Orleans Argus*. 117 issues. 1828-01-19 to 1832-09-29

Maryland
Baltimore.
American and Commercial Daily Advertiser. 3,722 issues. 1801-07-15 to 1820-12-30
Baltimore.
Federal Republican. 66 issues. 1811-01-01 to 1811-03-18
Cumberland.
Weekly Civilian. 126 issues. 1859-03-17 to 1861-09-26

Montana
Great Falls.
Montana Herold. 260 issues. 1893-05-04 to 1899-05-25

Nevada
Carson City. Nevada Appeal*. 2000-07-04 to Present

New Hampshire
Concord.
New Hampshire Patriot*. 545 issues. 1878-10-10 to 1890-04-10

New Jersey
Trenton.
Trenton State Gazette. 602 issues. 1848-01-01 to 1850-12-31

New York
Albany.
Albany Evening Journal. 1 issue. 1854-08-19
New York.
Morning Telegraph*. 509 issues. 1870-01-02 to 1879-12-28
New York.
New York Herald. 50 issues. 1871-06-18 to 1871-08-09
New York.
New York Herald-Tribune*. 527 issues. 1858-01-01 to 1877-09-24

North Dakota
Valley City. Valley City Times-Record*. 2008-06-02 to Present

Ohio
Cincinnati.
Cincinnati Daily Enquirer. 2,065 issues. 1861-01-04 to 1876-09-30

Oklahoma
Poteau.
Poteau Daily News & Sun*. 2009-07-29 to Present

Pennsylvania
Philadelphia.
National Gazette. 1,558 issues. 1822-12-03 to 1841-04-08
Philadelphia.
Public Ledger. 1,103 issues. 1840-09-17 to 1868-05-30

Rhode Island
Providence.
Manufacturers’ and Farmers’ Journal. 52 issues. 1820-08-07 to 1870-01-03

South Carolina
Charleston.
City Gazette. 200 issues. 1826-01-02 to 1826-12-30

Vermont
Milton.
Milton Independent*. 2009-01-08 to Present

West Virginia
Keyser.
Mineral Daily*. 2009-04-05 to Present
.

GenealogyBank adds and expands 25 newspapers in 17 states.

GenealogyBank adds and expands 25 newspapers in 17 states.

AK. Juneau.
Daily Record-Miner
1 issue. 10/8/1903

CO. Colorado Springs
Gazette-Telegraph. 12 issues. 5/24/1903 to 3/11/1920

CT. Middletown
Constitution. 37 issues. 1878-01-01 to 1878-12-03

CT. New London
New London Gazette. 146 issues. 1828-01-07 to 1835-12-30

KY. Louisville
Western Courier*. 148issues 1813-11-16 to 1816-09-26

LA. New Orleans
Times Picayune. 246 issues. 1861-05-15 to 1894-09-04

MD. Baltimore
Baltimore American. 12 issues. 6/27/1905 to 8/12/1911
MD. Baltimore
Federal Republican. 232 issues. 1811-03-19 to 1812-06-18

NC. Henderson
Daily Dispatch. 4/10/2002 to Present

NE. Nebraska City
Daily Nebraska Press. 2 issues. 1875-04-12 to 1875-08-23

NJ. Cranford
Chranford Chronicle. 6/9/2005 to Present

NJ. Somerville

Chronicle. 6/11/2005 to 3/3/2007
NJ. Somerville
Reporter. 6/9/2005 to Present

NJ. Summit
Independent Press. 8/2/2006 to Present
NJ. Trenton
Trenton State Gazette. 303 issues. 1849-01-01 to 1849-12-31

NY. New York
New York Herald. 206 issues. 1874-04-25 to 1883-12-17

OH. Cincinnati
Cincinnati Volksfreund*. 813 issues. 1863-02-18 to 12/28/1904

OH. Cleveland
Plain-Dealer. 307 issues. 1/15/1914 to 9/27/1922

OR. Portland
Oregonian. 1920 issues. 1867-04-22 to 3/10/1907

PA. Philadelphia
Aurora General Advertiser. 12 issues. 1797-03-01 to 1797-10-18

RI. Pawtucket
Pawtucket Times. 1 issue. 3/18/1920

SC. Charleston
City Gazette. 512 issues. 1823-01-01 to 1825-12-31

SD. Pierre
Capital Journal. 12/11/2007 to Present

UT. Salt Lake City
Salt Lake Telegram. 1 issue. 3/28/1919
UT. Salt Lake City
Salt Lake Tribune. 1 issue. 1893-03-02

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The best source for old newspapers & documents on the planet.

Period!

GenealogyBank adds more newspapers – 51 titles – 16 States

GenealogyBank announces that it has added newspaper backfiles for 51 newspapers from 16 States.

This major upgrade brings GenealogyBank to nearly 300 million articles, books and records from over 3,800 newspapers; 260,000 books/documents and other resources. An esitmated One Billion Names.

Click on the following links and start searching!

California
Colton.
Chicano. 1 Issue. 5/10/1973
Los Angeles.
Dos Republicas. 1 Issue. 1892-06-07
Los Angeles.
Heraldo de Mexico. 27 Issues. 8/8/1918 to 11/1/1928
Oakland.
Mundo. 36 Issues. 8/2/1973 to 4/2/1975

Colorado
Trinidad.
Anunciador. 1 Issue. 9/9/1922

DC
Washington, DC.
Daily National Intelligencer. 1,624 Issues. 1822-01-01 to 1884-12-31

Florida
Ybor City.
Diario de Tampa. 6 Issues. 1/6/1909 to 1/30/1909

Georgia
Sparta.
Farmer’s Gazette*. 51 Issues. 1803-06-17 to 1807-08-08

Indiana
Indiana Harbour.
Amigo del Hogar. 2 Issues. 5/29/1927 to 5/27/1928

Louisiana
Donaldsville.
Donaldsonville Chief . 6/11/2008 to Today
New Orleans.
Times Picayune. 528 Issues. 1861-05-01 to 1897-04-10

Maine
Eastport. Eastport Sentinel*. 555 Issues. 1818-08-31 to 1832-08-15

Maryland
Baltimore. Federal Gazette. 1,989 Issues. 1796-02-05 to 1823-11-08 Uniontown. Engine of Liberty & Uniontown Advertiser*. 73 Issues. 1813-10-21 to 1815-04-27

Massachusetts
Gloucester.
Gloucester Telegraph. 1,597 Issues. 1827-01-01 to 1851-12-31
Springfield.
Federal Spy*. 170 Issues. 1794-05-13 to 1804-05-29

Nebraska
Nebraska City.
Nebraska City News-Press. 4/6/2009 to Today

New Mexico
Albuquerque.
Opinion Publica. 1 Issue. 1893-01-21
Las Cruces.
Eco del Valle. 5 Issues. 1/6/1906 to 2/13/1912
Las Cruces.
Estrella. 12 Issues. 6/19/1915 to 2/21/1925
Las Cruces.
Labrador. 12 Issues. 1897-11-21 to 9/1/1911
Las Cruces.
Las Cruces Democrat. 1 Issue. 1892-03-09
Las Cruces.
Mesilla Valley Bulletin. 1 Issue. 4/30/1937
Mountainair.
Independent. 2 Issues. 4/20/1918 to 12/7/1918
Santa Fe.
Daily New Mexican. 30 Issues. 1871-06-21 to 1875-01-30
Santa Fe.
Santa Fe Weekly New Mexican and Livestock Journal. 1 Issue. 1895-12-26
Socorro.
Defensor del Pueblo. 16 Issues. 1925-0-16 to 9/24/1937
Springer.
Colfax County Stockman. 1 Issue. 12/10/1910
Springer.
Estandarte de Springer. 124 Issues. 1890-07-03 to 1893-05-25

New York
Albany.
Albany Evening Journal. 69 Issues. 1854-04-22 to 1874-06-30
Brooklyn.
Espana Libre. 2 Issues. 2/7/1941 to 5/9/1941
New York.
Doctrina de Marti. 30 Issues. 1896-07-25 to 1898-02-15
New York.
Eco de Cuba. 3 Issues. 1855-06-22 to 1855-07-20
New York.
Prensa. 1832 Issues. 7/19/1919 to 12/30/1929
Poughkeepsie.
Dutchess Observer*. 60 Issues. 1816-07-24 to 1821-12-26
Sag Harbor.
Frothingham’s Long Island Herald*. 8 Issues. 1791-07-26 to 1798-03-12

Ohio
Chilliocothe.
Fredonian*. 27 Issues. 1807-02-19 to 1819-06-10

Tennessee
Athens.
Daily Post-Athenian. 3/28/2009 to Today
Newport.
Newport Plain Talk. 7/1/1998 to Today

Texas
Brownsville.
Cronista del Valle. 13 Issues. 2/21/1925 to 8/9/1927
Brownsville.
Heraldo de Brownsville. 18 Issues. 7/21/1937 to 2/20/1940
Brownsville.
Progreso. 1 Issue. 1876-05-07
Brownsville.
Puerto. 1 Issue. 9/27/1958
Corpus Christi.
Nueces County News. 1 Issue. 11/17/1938
El Paso.
Atalaya Bautista: Semanario Evangelico Bautista. 8 Issues. 11/3/1910 to 1/21/1929
El Paso.
Continental. 3 Issues. 10/17/1937 to 8/19/1938
El Paso.
Monitor. 1 Issue. 1897-07-03
Kingsville.
Notas de Kingsville. 2 Issues. 8/2/1951 to 11/11/1954
Laredo.
Correo de Laredo. 2 Issues. 1892-02-11 to 1892-05-26
San Antonio.
Bejareno. 2 Issues. 1855-08-18 to 1856-04-19
San Antonio.
Prensa. 662 Issues. 2/13/1913 to 9/15/1916

* New titles are marked with the *

Find and document your ancestors in GenealogyBank - the best source for old newspapers on the planet.

Period!

GenealogyBank adds newspapers from LA, NE and TN

GenealogyBank adds more newspapers from Louisiana, Nebraska & Tennessee.

Donaldsonville Chief (Donaldsonville, LA)
Obituaries: 07/02/2008 – Current
Death Notices: 06/11/2008 – Current

Nebraska City News-Press (Nebraska City, NE)
Obituaries: 04/11/2009 – Current
Death Notices: 04/06/2009 – Current

Daily Post-Athenian (Athens, TN)
Obituaries: 04/13/2009 – Current
Death Notices: 03/28/2009 – Current

Newport Plain Talk (Newport, TN)
Obituaries: 08/31/1998 – Current
Death Notices: 07/01/1998 – Current

.

GenealogyBank.com has Louisiana covered 1805 to Today

GenealogyBank adds newspapers from 4 States

GenealogyBank.com announced today it has added more newspapers for Louisiana, Minnesota, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Beauregard Daily News (De Ridder, LA)
Obituaries: 07/01/2008 – Current

Leesville Daily Leader (Leesville, LA)
Obituaries: 07/02/2008 – Current

Crookston Daily Times (Crookston, MN)
Obituaries: 10/20/2008 – Current

News-Topic (Lenoir, NC)
Obituaries: 01/01/2009 – Current

News-Herald (Lenoir City, TN)
Obituaries: 09/27/1999 – Current

Rogersville Review (Rogersville, TN)
Obituaries: 12/16/1998 – Current

Whether you are researching your ancestor’s in World War II or the Revolutionary War you will depend on GenealogyBank to get the job done.

Over 3,800 newspapers, all 50 States, 1690-Today
Join with us today!

Your support makes it possible for us to add more newspapers every month!
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Using the Congressional Serial Set for Genealogical Research

Using the Congressional Serial Set for Genealogical Research
By Jeffery Hartley


(This article appeared in the Spring 2009 issue of Prologue. It has been excerpted and reprinted here with the permission of the author.

The Historical Documents section in GenealogyBank includes over 243,000 reports from the US Serial Set and the American State Papers).


Click here to search the American State Papers and US Congressional Serial Set in GenealogyBank.com

Genealogists use whatever sources are available to them in pursuit of their family history: diaries, family Bibles, census records, passenger arrival records, and other federal records. One set of materials that is often overlooked, however, is the Congressional Serial Set.

This large multivolume resource contains various congressional reports and documents from the beginning of the federal government, and its coverage is wide and varied. Women, African Americans, Native Americans, students, soldiers and sailors, pensioners, landowners, and inventors are all represented in some fashion. While a beginning genealogist would not use the Serial Set to begin a family history, it nevertheless can serve as a valuable tool and resource for someone helping to flesh out an ancestors life, especially where it coincided with the interests of the U.S. federal government.

Since its inception, the U.S. government has gathered information, held hearings, compiled reports, and published those findings in literally millions of pages, the majority of which have been published by the Government Printing Office (GPO).

These publications include annual reports of the various executive branch agencies, congressional hearings and documents, registers of employees, and telephone directories. Their topics cover a wide range, from the Ku Klux Klan to child labor practices to immigration to western exploration.

In 1817, the Serial Set was begun with the intent of being the official, collective, definitive publication documenting the activities of the federal government. Following the destruction of the Capitol in 1814 by the British, Congress became interested in publishing their records to make them more accessible and less vulnerable to loss.

In the early Federal period, printing of congressional documents had been haphazard, and the Serial Set was an effort designed to rectify that situation. Although initially there were no regulations concerning what should be included, several laws and regulations were promulgated over the years. The contents, therefore, vary depending on the year in question.

In 1831, 14 years after the Serial Set was begun, the printers Gales & Seaton proposed that a compilation of the documents from the first Congresses be printed. The secretary of the Senate and the clerk of the House were to direct the selection of those documents, 6,278 of which were published in 38 volumes between 1832 and 1861. This collection was known as the American State Papers.

Because it was a retrospective effort, these 38 volumes were arranged chronologically within 10 subject areas: Foreign Relations, Indian Affairs, Finance, Commerce & Navigation, Military Affairs, Naval Affairs, Post Office, Public Lands, Claims, and Miscellaneous.

Although not technically a part of the Serial Set, the volumes were certainly related, and therefore the volumes were designated with a leading zero so that these volumes would be shelved properly, i.e. before the volumes of the Serial Set. (1)

The Congressional Serial Set itself includes six distinct series: House and Senate journals (until 1953), House and Senate reports, House and Senate documents, Senate treaty documents, Senate executive reports, and miscellaneous reports. The journals provide information about the daily activities of each chamber. The House and Senate reports relate to public and private legislation under consideration during each session.

Documents generally relate to other investigations or subjects that have come to the attention of Congress. Nominations for office and military promotion appear in the Senate Executive Reports. Miscellaneous reports are just that­widely varied in subject matter and content. With the possible exception of the treaty documents, any of these can have some relevance for genealogists.

The documents and reports in the Serial Set are numbered sequentially within each Congress, no matter what their subject or origin. The documents were then collected into volumes, which were then given a sequential number within the Serial Set. The set currently stands at over 15,000 volumes, accounting for more than 325,000 individual documents and 11 million pages.

The Serial Set amounts to an incredible amount of documentation for the 19th century. Agency annual reports, reports on surveys and military expeditions, statistics and other investigations all appear and thoroughly document the activities of the federal government.

In 1907, however, the Public Printing and Binding Act provided guidelines for what should be included, resulting in many of these types of reports no longer being included as they were also issued separately by the individual agencies. The number of copies was also trimmed. With that stroke, the value of the Serial Set was lessened, but it nevertheless stands as a valuable genealogical resource for the 19th century.

So what is available for genealogists? The following examples are just some of the types of reports and information that are available.

Land Records
The Serial Set contains much information concerning land claims. These claims relate to bounty for service to the government as well as to contested lands once under the jurisdiction of another nation.

In House Report 78 (21-2), there is a report entitled “Archibald Jackson.” This report, from the House Committee on Private Land Claims, in 1831, relates to Jackson’s claim for the land due to James Gammons. Gammons, a soldier in the 11th U.S. Infantry, died on February 19, 1813, “in service of the United States.” The act under which he enlisted provided for an extra three month’s pay and 160 acres of land to those who died while in service to the United States. However, Gammons was a slave, owned by Archibald Jackson, who apparently never overtly consented to the enlistment but allowed it to continue. That Gammons was eligible for the extra pay and bounty land was not in dispute, but the recipient of that bounty was. Jackson had already collected the back pay in 1823 and was petitioning for the land as well. The report provides a decision in favor of Jackson, as he was the legal representative of Gammons, and as such entitled to all of his property. (2)

Land as bounty was one issue, and another was claims for newly annexed land as the country spread west. In 1838, the House of Representatives published a report related to Senate Bill 89 concerning the lands acquired through the treaty with Spain in 1819 that ceded East and West Florida to the United States. Claims to land between the Mississippi and the Perdido Rivers, however, were not a part of that treaty and had been unresolved since the Louisiana Purchase, which had taken the Perdido River as one of its limits. The report provides a background on the claims as well as lists of the claimants, the names of original claimants, the date and nature of the claim, and the amount of the land involved. (3)

Other land claims are represented as well. In 1820, the Senate ordered a report to be printed from the General Land Office containing reports of the land commissioners at Jackson Court House. These lands are located in Louisiana and include information that would help a genealogist locate their ancestor in this area. Included in this report is a table entitled “A List of Actual Settlers, in the District East of Pearl River, in Louisiana, prior to the 3d March, 1819, who have no claims derived from either the French, British, or Spanish, Governments.” The information is varied, but a typical entry reads: No. 14, present claimant George B. Dameson, original claimant Mde. Neait Pacquet, originally settled 1779, located above White’s Point, Pascag. River, for about 6 years. (4)

Annual Reports
Among the reports in the Serial Set for the 19th century are the annual reports to Congress from the various executive branch agencies. Congress had funded the activities of these organizations and required that each provide a report concerning their annual activities. Many of these are printed in the Serial Set, often twice: the same content with both a House and a Senate document number. Annual reports in the 19th century were very different from the public relations pieces that they tend to be today.

Besides providing information about the organization and its activities, many included research reports and other (almost academic) papers. In the annual reports of the Bureau of Ethnology, for instance, one can find dictionaries of Native American languages, reports on artifacts, and in one case, even a genealogy for the descendants of a chief. (5)

These reports can often serendipitously include information of interest to the family historian. For instance, the annual report of the solicitor of the Treasury would not necessarily be a place to expect to find family information. The 1844 report, however, does have some information that could be useful. For instance, pages 36 and 37 of this report contains a “tabular list of suits now pending in the courts of the United States, in which the government is a part and interested.”

Many on the opposite side of the case were individuals. An example is the case of Roswell Lee, late a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, against whom there has been a judgment for over $5,000 in 1838. Lee was sued in a court in Massachusetts and in 1844 still owed over $4,000. In a letter dated May 5, 1840, the district attorney informed the office (6)
that Mr. Lee is not now a resident of the district of Massachusetts, and that whether he ever returns is quite uncertain; that nothing, however, will be lost by his absence, as the United States have now a judgment against him, which probably will forever remain unsatisfied.

Another set of annual reports that appear in the Serial Set are those for the Patent Office. The annual reports of the commissioner of patents often include an index to the patents that were granted that year, arranged by subject and containing the names of the invention and the patentee and the patent number. The report included a further description of the patent, and often a diagram of it as well. Each year’s report also included an index by patentee.

Unfortunately, the numbers of patents granted in later years, as well as their complexity, led to more limited information being included in later reports. The 1910 report, for instance, simply contains an alphabetical list of inventions, with the entries listing the patentee, number, date, and where additional information can be found in the Official Patent Office Gazette. (7)

The Civil War gave rise to a number of medical enhancements and innovations in battlefield medicine, and the annual report for 1865, published in 1867, contains a reminder of that in the patent awarded to G. B. Jewett, of Salem, Massachusetts, for “Legs, artificial.” Patent 51,593 was granted December 19, 1865, and the description of the patent on page 990 provides information on the several improvements that Jewett had developed. The patent diagram on page 760 illustrated the text. (8)

This annual report relates to a report from May 1866, also published in the Serial Set that same session of Congress, entitled “Artificial Limbs Furnished to Soldiers.” This report, dated May 1866, came from the secretary of war in response to a congressional inquiry concerning artificial limbs furnished to soldiers at the government’s expense. Within its 128 pages are a short list of the manufacturers of these limbs, including several owned by members of the Jewett family in Salem, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington, D.C., as well as an alphabetical list of soldiers, detailing their rank, regiment and state, residence, limb, cost, date, and manufacturer. Constantine Elsner, a private in B Company of the 20th Massachusetts living in Boston, received a leg made by G. B. Jewett at a cost of $75 on April 8, 1865. 9 This may have been an older version of the one that Jewett would have patented later in the year, or it may have been an early model of that one. Either way, a researcher would have some idea not only of what Elsner’s military career was like, but also some sense of what elements of life for him would be like after the war.

Congress also was interested in the activities of organizations that were granted congressional charters. Many of the charters included the requirement that an annual report be supplied to Congress, and these were then ordered to be printed in the Serial Set.

One such organization is the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). As one would expect, the DAR annual reports contain a great deal of genealogical and family history information. The 18th annual report is no exception. Among other things, it includes, in appendix A, a list of the graves of almost 3,000 Revolutionary War soldiers. The list includes not just a name and location, but other narrative information as well:
Abston, John. Born Jan. 2, 1757; died 1856. Son of Joshua Abston, captain of Virginia militia; served two years in War of the American Revolution. Enlisted from Pittsylvania County, Va.; was in Capt. John Ellis’ company under Col. Washington. The evening before the battle of Kings Mountain, Col. Washington, who was in command of the starving Americans at this point, sent soldiers out to forage for food. At a late hour a steer was driven into camp, killed, and made into a stew. The almost famished soldiers ate the stew, without bread, and slept the sleep of the just. Much strengthened by their repast and rest, the next morning they made the gallant charge that won the battle of Kings Mountain, one of the decisive battles of the American Revolution. Washington found one of the steer’s horns and gave it to Abston, a personal friend, who carried it as a powder horn the rest of the war. (10)

Another organization whose annual reports appear is the Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, which later became Gallaudet University. These reports, found in the annual reports of the secretary of the interior, contain much of what one would expect: lists of faculty and students, enrollment statistics, and other narrative. While that information can help to provide information about one’s ancestor’s time there, there are other parts of the narrative that include information one would not expect to find.

For instance, the 10th annual report for 1867 has a section entitled “The Health of the Institution.” It concerns not the fiscal viability of the institution but rather the occurrences of illness and other calamities. One student from Maryland, John A. Unglebower, was seized with gastric fever and died: “He was a boy of exemplary character, whose early death is mourned by all who knew him.” Two other students drowned that year, and the circumstances of their deaths recounted, with the hope that “they were not unprepared to meet the sudden and unexpected summons.” (11) Both the faculty and the student body contributed their memorials to these two students in the report.

Other organizations represented in the Serial Set are the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America, Veterans of World War I of the United States, proceedings of the National Encampment, United Spanish War Veterans, the American Historical Association, and the National Convention of Disabled American Veterans.

Lists of Pensioners
The history of pensions provided by the federal government is beyond the scope of this article. However, the Serial Set is a source of information about who was on the rolls at various times. For instance, an 1818 letter from the secretary of war was published containing a list of the persons who had been added to the pension list since May 28, 1813. The list provides information on the likes of Susanna Coyle, certificate of pension no. 9, heiress of deceased soldier William Coyle, alias Coil, a private who received pay of four dollars per month. (12)

Sundry lists of pensions appeared in 1850, related to the regulation of Navy, privateer, and Navy hospital funds. The report included four lists: those placed in the invalid list who were injured while in the line of duty; those drawing pensions from wounds received while serving on private armed vessels; widows drawing pensions from their husbands who were engineers, firemen, and coal-heavers; and orphan children of officers, seamen, and marines pensioned under the act of August 11, 1848. (13)

One of the most widely consulted lists is that for 1883, “List of Pensioners on the Roll, January 1, 1883” (Senate Executive Document 84 [47-2]). This five-volume title, arranged by state and then county of residence, provides a list of each pensioner’s name, his post office, the monthly amount received, the date of the original allowance, the reason for the pension, and the certificate number.

An example is the case of Eli G. Biddle, who served in the 54th Massachusetts. Biddle can be found on page 439 of volume 5 of the “List,” and a researcher can learn several things without even having seen his pension file: his middle name is George, he was living in Boston in 1883, and he was receiving four dollars each month after having suffered a gunshot wound in the right shoulder. His pension certificate number is also provided 99,053­ and with that one could easily order the appropriate records from the National Archives.

Registers
The Serial Set serves as a source of military registers and other lists of government personnel as well. Both Army and Navy registers appear after 1896. The Army registers for 1848–1860 and the Navy registers for 1848–1863 are transcripts of the lists that appeared the preceding January and include pay and allowances, with corrections to that earlier edition for deaths and resignations.

The Official Register, or “Blue Book,” a biannual register of the employees of the federal government, appears for 10 years, from 1883 to 1893. If one’s ancestors were employees at this time, their current location and position, place from which they were appointed, date of appointment, and annual compensation can be gleaned from this source.

The Serial Set often provides unexpected finds, and the area of registers is no exception. There is a great deal of material on the Civil War, from the 130 volumes of the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion to other investigations and the aforementioned registers and lists of pensions. There are not, however, large amounts of compiled unit histories.

One exception, however, is the report from the adjutant general of Arkansas. Shortly after the Civil War, the adjutant general offices of the various Union states prepared reports detailing the activities of the men from their states. The same was done in Arkansas, but the state legislature there, “under disloyal control,” declined to publish the report. Senator Henry Wilson of Massachusetts, chairman of the Senate Committee on Military Affairs, brought it to the committee in 1867, and it was ordered to be printed in the Serial Set so that the loyal activities of these 10,000 men would be recognized. (14) The report includes brief histories of each unit as well as a roster of the unit and rank, enlistment date, and other notes on each soldier.

Accessing Information in the Serial Set
The indexing for the Serial Set has long been troublesome to researchers. Various attempts have been made to provide subject access, with varying degrees of success. Many of the indexes in the volumes themselves are primarily title indexes to the reports from that Congress and session. The Checklist of United States Public Documents, 1789–1909, does provide information about what reports listed therein do appear in the Serial Set, but the researcher has to know the name of the issuing agency in order to access that information. The Document Index provides some subject indexing by Congress, and other efforts such as those by John Ames and Benjamin Poore can also be used, but none index the tables and contents of many of the reports that have been discussed in this article. (15)

The best comprehensive print index is the Congressional Information Service’s (CIS) U.S. Serial Set Index, produced in conjunction with their microfilming of the volumes through 1969 beginning in the mid-1970s. In this index, a two-volume subject index covers groups of Congresses, with a third volume providing an index to individual names for relief actions, as well as a complete numerical list in each report/document category. The index, however, does not index the contents of the documents. For instance, although the title given for the Archibald Jackson land claim includes James Gammons’s name, the latter does not appear in the index to private relief actions. In addition, users must often be creative in the terms applied in order to be sure that they have exhausted all possibilities. In the mid-1990s CIS released these indexes on CD-ROM, which makes them somewhat easier to use, although the contents are essentially the same.

The indexing problems have been rectified by the digitization of the Serial Set. At least two private companies, LexisNexis and Readex, have digitized it and made it full-text searchable.

[The Serial Set and American State Papers are available in GenealogyBank. Click here to search them online]

This article can only hint at some of the genealogical possibilities that can be found in the Congressional Serial Set. It has not touched on the land survey, railroad, western exploration, or lighthouse keeper’s reports or many of the private relief petitions and claims. Nonetheless, the reports and documents in the Serial Set provide a tremendous and varied amount of information for researchers interested in family history.

Author
Jeffery Hartley is chief librarian for the Archives Library Information Center (ALIC). A graduate of Dickinson College and the University of Maryland’s College of Library and Information Services, he joined the National Archives and Records Administration in 1990.

Notes
1 For a more complete description of the American State Papers, and their genealogical relevance, see Chris Naylor, “Those Elusive Early Americans: Public Lands and Claims in the American State Papers, 1789–1837,” Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives and Records Administration 37 (Summer 2005): 54–61.
2 H. Rept. 78 (21-2), 1831, “Archibald Jackson” (Serial 210).
3 H. Rept. 818 (25-2), 1838, “Land Claims between Perdido and Mississippi” Serial 335.
4 S. Doc. 3 (16-2), 1820, “Reports of the Land Commissioners at Jackson Court House” (Serial 42).
5 H. Misc. Doc. 32 (48-2), 1882, “3rd Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology” (Serial 2317).
6 H. Doc. 35 (28-1), 1844, “Annual Report of Solicitor of the Treasury” (Serial 441), p. 37. 7 H. Doc. 1348 (61-3), 1911, “Annual Report of the Commissioner of Patents for the Year 1910″ (Serial 6020).
8 H. Exec. Doc. 62 (39-1), 1867, “Annual Report of the Commissioner of Patents for the Year 1865″ (Serial 1257-1259).
9 H. Exec. Doc. 108 (39-1), 1866, “Artificial Limbs Furnished to Soldiers” (Serial 1263).
10 S. Doc. 392 (64-1), 1916, “Eighteenth Report of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, October 11, 1914, to October 11, 1915″ (Serial 6924), p.155. 11 H. Exec. Doc. 1 (40-2), “Tenth Annual Report of the Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb” (Serial 1326), pp. 429–430.
12 H. Doc. 35 (15-1), 1818 (Serial 6), p. 17.
13 See H. Ex. Doc. 10 (31-2), 1850, “Sundry Lists of Pensioners” (Serial 597).
14 See S. Misc. Doc 53 (39-2), 1867, “Report of the Adjutant General for the State of Arkansas, for the Period of the Late Rebellion, and to November 1, 1866″ (Serial 1278).
15 A good discussion of how some of these indexes work can be found in Mary Lardgaard, “Beginner’s Guide to Indexes to the Nineteenth Century U.S. Serial Set,” Government Publications Review 2 (1975): 303–311.